I crossed the Mississippi last night as dusk settled on the plains. In Illinois the trees of Michigan and Indiana turned into fields, and at times, the air was heavy with chemicals. I just said goodbye to someone I’ve spent nearly the past 120 days with. Friends and family frown and ask me why I am leaving then. Well, I am always leaving something behind. I couldn’t stay right now anyway.
I slept on some hunting grounds north of Des Moines. Those places are always good because it’s public land. The night was mild with starry skies and I awoke only once from coyote cries blaring from just beyond the bushes. It had been so long since I’d heard such sounds and the volume alarmed me at first, until my sleep soul remembered they are just fiends in the night. In the morning I awoke just after sunrise to a full choir of red-winged blackbirds and a screeching jay leading the bunch. It is Sunday morning.
Exhausting being on the road – lots of time for the mind to wander. I made it within 20 miles of Wyoming but I can’t go any further tonight. Very defeating to drive through Nebraska all day and not make it out. Driving straight into the wind, might I add. I had no sleeping locations in mind tonight but I found a park on the map that I was hoping I could sneak into for the night. Turned out to be a free campground… so I am not even breaking any rules this time. I am excited to sleep under the stars for the first time since the fall. I hear a duck from the dark void to my right which is the reservoir. A few chirping frogs. Something unknown. Periodic splashes, large ones – geese? Distant drone of highway men. So happy to be horizontal (and) on the earth.